A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Whitman, Unions Swap Misleading Charges

A coalition of labor unions called California Working Families for Jerry Brown has relentlessly attacked Meg Whitman since she won the Republican gubernatorial nomination June 8. Now Whitman is firing back — accusing Democrat Brown of …

Mystery, Drama, Deception in Alabama

The big question in the final days of Alabama’s runoff election for the GOP gubernatorial nomination isn’t just who is going to win the tight race between Bradley Byrne and Robert Bentley. It’s the mystery of who’s behind a largely bogus TV ad attacking Byrne. …

‘Bailout’ Baloney

This campaign season, “bailout” is a dirty — and often misused — word. It’s no longer being used just in reference to Wall Street banks and the rescue of the financial industry. Candidates, corporations and special interest groups increasingly use “bailout” even when no government financial assistance is being proposed. …

NM Governor’s Race: Denish Distorts DA’s Record

In the New Mexico governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, a Democrat, distorts Republican Susana Martinez’s 10-year record as district attorney.

An ad claims that her conviction rate in murder cases is "the worst in New Mexico," and the Denish campaign says that rate is 60 percent. But the Denish camp simply used the wrong statistics and came up with invalid figures. In fact, figures from an official state agency show Martinez won nearly 96 percent of her murder cases.

Picture This: McCain’s ‘Lobbyist’ Ad Misleading

It would be understandable if Arizona voters watching Sen. John McCain’s new ad came away thinking J.D. Hayworth is one of those chauffeur-driven, jet-setting Washington lobbyists. Understandable, but wrong. 

The ad started to air June 8 in advance of the Aug. 24 GOP Senate primary. We can’t quibble with the words spoken by the narrator, who states that Hayworth was a "registered lobbyist" and "was paid thousands by a Florida corporation to lobby the very committee he used to serve on."

Boyd’s Ad on Florida Jobs Stretches Truth

Democratic Rep. Allen Boyd of Florida is running a TV ad falsely accusing his primary opponent of having "killed jobs," while exaggerating his own record for creating jobs.

The ad, titled “Job Killer,” has been airing since May 20 in Boyd’s North Florida district.
Job Killer?
Rep. Boyd’s ad goes too far when it charges that his rival, state Sen. Al Lawson, “killed” transportation and hospital jobs when he voted for the fiscal year 2011 state budget.

Halter Questioned On Misleading TV Ad

In an MSNBC interview today — the day of the June 8 Democratic primary runoff in Arkansas — Lt. Gov. Bill Halter was questioned about a TV ad that we here at FactCheck.org said made misleading claims about Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s position on Social Security cuts.
MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, who interviewed Halter, called the ad "the biggest controversy right now." Mitchell showed a clip of "Pauline," which features an elderly woman claiming that Lincoln has threatened to cut Medicare and Social Security if re-elected.

Halter’s Ad: Misleading Senior Voters

In the final week of Arkansas’ June 8 runoff campaign for the Democratic Senate nomination, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is running a misleading ad against Sen. Blanche Lincoln that accuses her of "cutting Social Security" and threatening to cut Medicare and Social Security in the future. For sure, there are differences between the two candidates. Lincoln is a strong supporter of reducing the deficit, and is on record as wanting to find "greater efficiencies" in entitlement programs,

It’s True: Massages, Saunas For Inmates

With the June 8 Nevada primary nearing, there was one TV ad in the Republican Senate race that caught our attention. It’s so outlandish that we thought it couldn’t possibly be true. Did former Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle – a Republican backed by the Tea Party Express and the fiscally conservative Club for Growth — sponsor legislation to create a drug rehab program for state prisoners that included saunas and massage therapy? And was that program developed by the Church of Scientology?

Obama Says Gulf Beaches ‘Clean.’ Really?

In his May 27 press conference on the oil spill, President Barack Obama declared Gulf Coast beaches safe and encouraged Americans to visit them. “Except for three beaches in Louisiana, all of the Gulf’s beaches are open, they are safe and they are clean,” he said. But it depends on your definition of “safe” and “clean,” and you had better hurry up, because the coast states are bracing for more closures.

Alabama hasn’t closed any beaches,